“The female novelist of the nineteenth century may have frequently encountered opposition and interference from the male literary establishment, but the female short story writer, working in a genre that was seen as less serious and less profitable, found her work to be actively encouraged.” — from the Introduction.
During the nineteenth century women writers finally began to be as popular—and as respected—as their male counterparts. We are all familiar with the novels of Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot and the Bröntes. Less familiar is the short fiction of the period; yet a great many nineteenth-century stories by women—both famous and obscure—retain in full measure their power to fascinate and to entertain. For this anthology Glennis Stephenson brings together stories by both British and North American writers; by such established luminaries as Shelley, Gaskell and Kate Chopin; and by lesser-known writers such as the Anglo-Indian writer Flora Steel, the Afro-American Alice Dunbar Nelson and the Canadian Annie Howells Frèchette. The result is an anthology that will be as interesting to the general reader as it will be useful to the student. Stephenson provides background information on all authors, together with a general introduction.